Students protest civilian deaths in the Middle East (includes video story)

A pair of demonstrations at Florida International University Wednesday drew attention to reducing civilian deaths in the Middle East war. One was supportive of Palestineans and another of Israel.

After Florida announced efforts to deactivate Palestinian chapters at universities, students raised their voices.

“We as Floridians have the right to say what we want to say and protest,” said Summer Jandali, the president of Students for Justice in Palestine at FIU.

The Palestinian students emphasized that they are not trying to eradicate Israel or inflict any violence or hate on the Jewish people, but are asking for a ceasefire and an end to the military occupation.

A counter-protest from the Israeli side also showed up with Israeli flags, signs, and flyers of the kidnapped hostages urging everyone to stand with Israel as they return their hostages home and put an end to the militant group Hamas.

“We are with the Palestinian people, but we are not with Hamas,” stated Lili Steiner, a pro-Israeli protester.

The situation in Gaza has transformed into a humanitarian catastrophe, with over 7,000 Gazans, 40% of whom are children, killed in less than three weeks, Palestineans have reported. There have also been aid blockades and hospitals are on the brink of collapse.

Israel says more than 1,400 civilians and soldiers have been killed and over 200 hostages were seized when Hamas invaded.

Layan Abu Tarboush is a digital broadcasting major at FIU, currently pursuing a minor in International Relations. As an international student from Jordan, Layan is fluent in both Arabic and English and has a deep interest in reporting on Middle Eastern affairs. Layan takes pride in being multicultural with great exposure from the East and West.

Esteban Rodriguez is a sophomore majoring in TV/Broadcast media. He is a producer for Caplin News and FIU's Sports show, Sideline. He hopes to pursue this path of producing for Sports Networks and/or Hollywood in the Film Industry.